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November 24, 2018: Thanksgiving Gifts

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” Marcus Aurelius

On Thanksgiving morning, I was awakened by a brilliant light, that shimmered on my eyelids.  The outside temperature must have been frigid as there was frost coating the windows.  As I watched in awe, the rising sun lit the frost on fire and the windows literally glowed with gold. A free gift from Mother Nature, and a wonderful way to begin my day of giving thanks.

In last week’s Weekly Wandering’s Blog: Giving Thanks, I had searched for and shared meaningful quotes on being thankful.    

This one by Marcus Aurelius, struck a resonant chord in my heart, especially since we were celebrating Thanksgiving with my 99-year old dad.  Five weeks ago, we didn’t think he’d survive a serious illness and major surgery.  Two weeks ago, he left the hospital, so weak, it took three people to help him stand and be steady.   On Thanksgiving day, he asked us to bring him a dress outfit from home, donned a suit and polished shoes, and walked slowly with his walker to the dining room. First time in five long weeks, that he left a hospital or rehab room on his own.  It was a true celebration for giving thanks.  His “Thankful” blessing and grace included his gratitude for the excellent care he had received, and the very fact he was alive and able to celebrate a special day with Ron and me. He truly treasures each day as a gift.

Thanksgiving 2018

Sixty-six years ago, this week,  I was born through emergency surgery, two months early in a time where the care and survival of premature babies was a new science. My mother, a nurse by profession,  upon seeing how tiny I was and my struggle to breathe, was distraught and was sedated. My father was told, that “I probably wouldn’t make it through the night.”  But I was fortunate to be born in a time and place, where the hospital facility had new medical equipment and trained staff to keep me alive.  When my mother woke in the morning, a young student nurse whispered to her., “Mrs Oellers”, your daughter made it through the night.”  My Mom always called it her best Thanksgiving gift ever.


My best friend Liz, called me with tears of joy. When she awoke yesterday morning, she looked out the window and watched in wonder, as a majestic eagle flew near her window on its way to soar up into the sky..  She has always associated an eagle sighting with loving memories of her dad Robert Lawson, a pilot in World War Two, and it also happened to be his birthday.   Just hours later, her first grandchild Lars was born; on the exact same day as his great grandfather…… a new life and a gift of love that transcends time.

Although Marcus Aurelius, lived almost 2000 years ago, his advice about life as a privileged gift, is just as meaningful now.  It is another reminder that when the “bothers” of life seem to pile up, I need to only look around me; at the love of my family, my friends, the miracle of birth, at the wonder of nature, and so much more; and to be be thankful for this precious privilege called life.


November 24, 2018 Sunrise



  • Rita
    November 25, 2018

    Beautiful pictures and memories and thoughtfully expressed.

  • PatLairHumphrey
    November 25, 2018

    Si love them memories you are making with your Dad and the Beautiful pictures. God Bless you and your family


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